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December 21, 2016

Taking Stock of 2016

Filed under: SRDC — admin @ 10:02 am

(This appears in SRDC’s Winter Newsletter)

The year has flown by and, while we didn’t check everything off of the “to do” list (e.g. J & L Plant 1), we have made a lot of progress around the region.  Here are a few items to celebrate and update as we turn the calendar to 2017:

-       Trout River Brewery – Trevor, Gabe and Kelen finished their build out and, by December, had introduced six (if I’m counting right!) different varieties of beer to the market.  The company also received a Vermont downtown historic tax credit for their project.  As we spoke about at the SRDC Annual Meeting, Trout River and Konrad Prefab are two examples of projects that we’ve been involved with all of the way, from concept to business planning and financing, to site selection and build out, to operation and production. And, in both cases, we’re grateful to have such great partners as our Small Business Development Center and Debra Boudrieau!

-       Konrad Prefab – Later in this newsletter are pictures from the recent Ribbon Cutting event with Congressman Peter Welch. It’s been exciting to see David Jaacks’ vision come to life and the partnership he has with Mamava is going to be a win-win on lots of levels.  All of the businesses in the Jones Center have had great years and it’s always exciting to see the building humming with activity.

-       Blake Hill Preserves – Governor Shumlin was on hand for this Ribbon Cutting event this fall, to celebrate the completion of the new 6,000 sf facility that SRDC built for this new business in Windsor’s Artisans Park.  We are so happy for our friends Vicky Allard and Joe Hanglin, who have built this business from their kitchen into national distribution.  We also appreciate our continued partnership with Terry McDonnell.

-       J & L/Bryants – Patience is a virtue. And, I need to stop making predictions when it comes to these properties.  These are among the lessons I have to finally learn in 2017!  Having said that, both of these projects have taken significant steps forward this year.  In the case of Bryants, SRDC has invested roughly $300,000 in the south end of the building and is anticipating spending around that amount in the near future.  This will result in a 35,000 sf space that is clean, environmentally, secure and watertight. It now has electricity again and we will continue to restore functionality as we prepare the area for occupancy.

As for J & L, there is a lot of activity to prepare for the “main event” (demolition and redevelopment).  Doug and I signed off on the demo specs this week and asbestos cleanup plans are in their final stages.  EPA was in town last week (for the 3rd time since spring) to gather information as we continue to work with them for additional assistance.  The Town of Springfield also received funding for extending the Toonerville Trail to run behind the Jones Center and J & L, which hopefully will coincide with the site activity.

-       Windsor/WIC – SRDC has continued to increase its partnership with Windsor Improvement Corporation (WIC) and the Town of Windsor. We now provide administrative and project assistance to WIC and we appreciate the increased level of financial support!  Paul Kowalski is working with WIC on its recent purchase of properties in the Jarvis Street/Riverfront area and is developing plans for the repair/renovation of those houses.

And there’s much more, as we covered at the Annual Meeting!

2017 is shaping up to be a busy year with work on new downtown plans in Springfield and Chester, a new property to manage in Windsor, as well as establishing our first SRDC-owned revolving loan fund and other expansion/development projects I can’t comment on yet.

Thank you to our Board and all of SRDC’s members as well as our area communities and residents for the continued support.  I also want to add a personal thanks to our staff – Sandy, Heather, Cynthia and Paul as well as our in-house partners – Debra, Ed and Robin.

On behalf of all of us at SRDC, best wishes for a joyous and peaceful holiday season and a wondrous 2017.

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